Purpose of Review: To review the current literature that supports the notion that cerebral hemodynamic compromise from internal carotid artery stenosis may be a cause of vascular cognitive impairment that is amenable to treatment by revascularization. Recent Findings: Converging evidence suggests that successful carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting are associated with reversal of cognitive decline in many patients with severe but asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. Most of these findings have been derived from cohort studies and comparisons with either normal or surgical controls. Failure to find treatment benefit in a number of studies appears to have been the result of patient heterogeneity or confounding from concomitant conditions independently associated with cognitive decline, such as heart failure and other cardiovascular risk factors, or failure to establish pre-procedure hemodynamic failure. Summary: Patients with severe carotid artery stenosis causing cerebral hemodynamic impairment may have a reversible cause of cognitive decline. None of the prior studies, however, were done in the context of a randomized clinical trial with large numbers of participants. The ongoing CREST-2 trial comparing revascularization with medical therapy versus medical therapy alone, and its associated CREST-H study determining whether cognitive decline is reversible among those with hemodynamic compromise may address this question.
- Carotid artery stenting
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Cerebral hemodynamic impairment
- Severe carotid artery stenosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine